Tonight in Texas


1
.

I live in Texas now
and it’s true, about the guns
and the cowboys who carry them.
The rights that get roped or electrocuted
and the women who have none
unless their money’s well colored.
The men who sweep our leaves
and the others, in trucks and lizard boots.
Steaks for breakfast,
along with the narrow sense of a vast self
and hair in undue proportion.
Bullets on the shelf.
But when the light dies
it mostly like everywhere else can be.
The darkness making it into a place
of simple scuttling and dry rot,
the noise of silent children.
The sound of that stench.
Civilization on the brink and hot,
waiting, for shame.

2.

Never have I lived anywhere
as I do in this modernizing Austin
that felt so temporary.
The day paints an illusion
of man abroad and in charge
but at night the real world slithers back.
As it has always done
and will do too
long after y’all.

3.

To be truthful it bothers me
more than I can put up with and just then
a pecan tree limb the size of three men
(and the weight of four) falls down without warning
like a leg that detaches itself
or an arm come off while standing still.
Misses the house by accident
and lays there upended
not going anywhere.
Out there still in the soft night
I can sense the raccoons close by
evaluating this new opportunity,
while those of us who survive until morning
will only believe life to be more manageable
when the men finally come and haul off the carcass.

 

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